Once in a lifetime

Take a Barge Cruise in France: The Beautiful Canal Du Midi

Meandering through fields of lavender and sunflowers under the golden Mediterranean sun, stopping to stroll through vineyards or explore medieval fortresses - there is a world of pleasures both simple and luxurious that can be experienced from the comfort of a canal boat on a barge cruise in France. Here are some of the highlights that can be expected along the Canal du Midi, one of France's most idyllic waterways.

Introducing the Midi

The South of France is known as le Midi, a region known for its balmy weather, spectacular scenery and distinct culture, home to the Occitan language and Mediterranean-inflected cuisine. The regions encompassed by the Midi include Aquitaine, Provence, Languedoc-Roussillon and others similarly known for their pastoral landscapes and rich history. From the Roman province of Aquitania, it became a thriving centre of medieval art and literature, and still maintains a strong cultural identity. Winding through it all, the Canal du Midi makes the perfect setting for a barge cruise in France, letting visitors take in the unfolding countryside at a relaxed pace, with all the highlights of Southern France in easy reach. The sun-soaked surroundings might tempt travellers to explore by foot or cycle, before returning for a well-deserved rest on the barge.


Located on the Canal du Midi in the region of Langedoc-Roussillon, Carcassonne boasts the world's biggest medieval fortress. It is a fortified town founded in the fifth century by the Visigoths, with an older Roman settlement dating from around 100 BCE, and even older roots stretching back to the Bronze Age. It was an important strategic location throughout the Middle Ages, but subsequently fell into disrepair; it was restored in the 19th century as an important historic site, and today provides a fascinating glimpse into the previous lives of the region, making it a must-see on a barge cruise in France. As well as the fortifications, comprising two rings of ramparts and studded with 53 towers, there is a wealth of wonderful sights to see. These include the Cathedral and the Basilica of St. Nazaire and St. Celse, the Inquisition Tower, and the majestic Pont Marengo bridge which arches over the Canal.


Just outside of Caracassonne, the pretty town of Trebes is the perfect spot to moor and watch the life of the canal go by, and soak up the atmosphere of rural Southern France. One of the real highlights, however, is the food. There are plenty of opportunities to sample Occitan cuisine on a barge cruise in France, where local favourites are often sold by lock-keepers and restaurants are set up in many locations to serve the canal boats. The restaurants at Trebes are considered some of the best for authentic fish dishes and the regional specialty, duck cassoulet.

For more information please visit: http://www.gobarging.com/barge-cruises-france